Looking back on this question I have to admit there is a small lump in my throat. Here’s the thing ladies… My boyfriend H knows I have a blog… he knows because I told him when I was drunk one night in an assertive pompous tone “glarf memm I have a Blog you know! Glmph snore”… But what he doesn’t know is what it is called and he’s never read it (I think). SO this space is very much mine. I realise at some point he might stumble across it ( I suspect he’s searching for it now and then…) or he may even already have read it, but I am not quite prepared to let him proof the drafts… because he’s IN them. You follow?
So before answering this question I want to take a very deep breath and say this first…
Ha ha… No its fine, he’s the most consistent, calm and stable person I know. So I am sure when he finds this and reads it there will be a raised brow, a rib poke and maybe if I’ve crossed any real lines… a short ‘adult’ conversation.
Cross your fingers for me.
Why do I fall in love and do I trust myself when I do…. Hmmmm…
When I was younger it was all about looks and being slightly obnoxious. If there was a “good looking” guy that needed a chase… I had my sneakers on. It was fun. but was it love? No, I don’t think it was. It was a lot of angst and the odd romantic sleepover (is it rude to say one night stand?) and long drawn out beach walks with my besties plotting, renouncing and celebrating. It was being young. However I think all this kiss-chasey made me very cautious as I grew older. I mean when men would ask me out, without the games I was super confused…
um aren’t we going to tease each other? Oh well I just don’t understand this at all. Im not sure I can commit to just going to dinner because we “like” one another. WEIRD.
The first time this happened and I relaxed with it...I fell in love. It was a rebellious love. It was an incredibly romantic love (read as long distance for two years…plurk until I moved to be with him in Adelaide, where I now find myself). Romantic you say? Swoon…Well there were a lot of letters written, plane flights and weepy phone calls. I guess Hollywood would call that romance, but in retrospect it seems like a waste of resources. This love lasted five years. Five years was a long time. I think I was probably only in love for two and a bit of them, the second and third and maybe a little of the fourth. But I am (unfortunately for young Grace) a big believer in putting work into relationships. As a result I didn’t listen to my gut and the niggling feeling I had, that something wasn’t quite right lasted two years. I woke up one day and it had all been confirmed in my mind. I wasn’t in love.
I will never leave a relationship the way I did that day. I felt so sure of my decision and so desperate for oxygen, I made a surgical and polite break. I think he needed the yelling and the pain because he drew it out for months. He hadn’t really been given warning, he felt betrayed. Don’t worry he got what he wanted, for months I politely listened to his complaints, his drunken rants and his tears. His aggression and constantly lingering in my workplace months after the break was the deciding factor in me using my “outside voice”. Then time wore away both our edges until one day he apologised and thanked me for breaking up something that he hadn’t seen was so unhealthy. That experience taught me not to bottle your problems up in a relationship, to have a voice and use it. It’s not fair for the other person to not have chance to fix them. Love doesn’t have to look perfect.
That time in my mid twenties, even considering all the pain, when I awoke from a five year relationship was… glorious. It was golden and it had formed within me a determinedness not to fall straight back in love. This brings us to the relationship where I had to learn to trust myself. It brings us to H.
SO here I was determined not to fall in love, deliciously fit and doing better than ever in my chosen field and I met this guy… I couldn’t shake this guy. He was (to quote Christina Yang from Greys Anatomy) like something sticky that just wouldn’t blow off! For months he sought my friendship. I thought he was quite dull and a bit dumb. Worst of all he was younger than me... SO not going there. But was nothing if not persistent. He would insist on driving me home after work and would follow me in his car when I insisted on walking. He would bring me treasures at work (my favourite was a pie he’d half eaten when he thought I might be hungry…ewh what’s wrong with guys??) and he would always slide a drink in front of me when we were out with our friends. He was incorrigible. It took me ages, well six months to realise that of all of my friends, he was my most consistent, caring and well intentioned. It even turned out he wasn’t actually dumb. He knew more about domestic politics than I did and I had a degree in it. Butt head. So there we are, the last time I fell in love it was because I learnt to trust. SO no I still don’t trust myself, I question my internal dialogue and my relationship all the time… but I don’t really ever question my boyfriend because he is consistent to a fault (but I’ll tell you about that another day)
So how do I fall in love and why? I’m not sure but from reading back it seems that the people drawn into my life reflect exactly what I am wanting from it. Drama, Romance and Consistency…
DO I trust myself when I fall in love? I guess I must, otherwise I wouldn’t be getting myself in to this beautiful muddle time again. The final thing I want to say is this: To those men, ratbags and boys I dated, I am so thankful for each of you, in reflection you all helped me learn and grow. There is nothing like learning about yourself by looking at the person you are choosing to walk your life with xx Grace